Delone Catholic volleyball advances to District 3 final
When York Suburban and Delone Catholic volleyball met for the second time in eight days Thursday night, the ramifications were simple: The winner would clinch a spot in the District 3 Class AA final and punch a ticket to the state tournament. The team on the other end would be going home.
Fortunately for the Squirette faithful that made the trip from McSherrystown to Dallastown, it was Delone Catholic coming away victorious, 25-15, 25-21, 25-19, setting up a rematch in the championship against a familiar foe - Berks Catholic - who defeated the Squirettes in last year's championship. This will be the fourth consecutive year Delone squares off with Berks Catholic in the district tournament.
"It's going to take us playing very, very well to beat them," Delone Catholic head coach Jason Leppo said of Berks Catholic. "They're such a well-coached team and they're always well prepared so we'll have to play at a high level."
Similar to their matchup in the YAIAA championship, the Trojans took an early lead over the Squirettes. Senior Jordan Landis, who finished with eight kills and 14 digs, scored the first four points for York Suburban in Game 1, and the Trojans jumped out to an early 9-5 lead. But then the Squirettes seemed to wake up. Sarah Senft capped a 4-0 run with a kill to tie the score, then Delone turned that momentum into a 20-6 run to close the game.
"I think we had a case of the nerves and we tried our best to prepare for it," York Suburban head coach Sonia Guyer said. "We wanted so badly to not be nerve-y, that we ended up getting like that anyway."
The teams stayed even for much of the second game with Delone's Lilly Singleton and York Suburban's Ciara Buckingham going back and forth with impressive kills. A Landis kill tied the score at 19 late, but Delone took the momentum back when Amber Johnson picked up a kill on a quick set from Katie Laughman. The Squirettes pulled away late again.
"We did a good job of controlling our side and not getting out of sorts," Leppo said. "They're a team that feeds off momentum and energy, and I think we did a good job of staying the course and not getting flustered when they made plays. We knew they were good and were going to make plays, but we didn't panic."
In the third game, Delone turned a 9-9 tie into a 14-9 lead, then it never let the Trojans pull much closer on its way to a 25-19 win.
While Delone celebrated another appearance in the district championship game, Trojans head coach Sonia Guyer pulled her tearful squad in for a postgame message. Her two seniors - Buckingham and Landis - who have helped take the program to new heights, wouldn't be easily replaced, she said.
"That is a big hole that's going to be left in our gym," Guyer said. 'Two people doesn't seem like a big hole, but it's two people who contribute fully, and the leadership that they showed was astronomical."
Delone Catholic 3, York Suburban 0
25-15, 25-21, 25-19
Delone Catholic stats - Amber Johnson (5 kills, 1 dig, 1 block), Katie Laughman (1 kill, 32 assists, 3 aces, 10 digs, 1 block), Christina Photiades (1 ace, 6 digs), Sarah Senft (14 kills, 1 assist, 7 digs, 2 blocks), Lexi Shanabrook (2 assists, 15 digs), Lilly Singleton (4 kills, 1 ace, 4 digs), Sydney Dockins (6 kills, 2 blocks), Karigen Emig (5 kills, 1 ace, 11 digs), Kayla Ewart (1 dig), Kristen Morrow (1 dig), Chloe Kindig (1 ace).
York Suburban stats - Georgia DuMars (1 ace, 24 assists, 1 block, 6 digs), Jordan Landis (1 ace, 8 kills, 3 blocks, 14 digs), Ciara Buckingham (6 kills, 3 blocks, 10 digs), Miranda Kauffman (2 kills, 1 block, 3 digs), Parker Faircloth-Henise (3 kills, 5 blocks, 2 digs), Emily Hamberger (8 digs), Cheyanna Buckingham (2 kills, 1 dig), Eryn McBride (1 assist, 6 digs), Molly Sargen (7 digs), Ali Reinecker (5 kills, 1 dig).